Business Week Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
BusinessWeek Index: THE WEEK AHEAD
Tuesday, Apr. 18, 8:30 a.m.
March housing starts are expected to have risen to an annual rate of 1.35
million, up from 1.32 million in February. That's the median projection of a
survey of economists by MMS International, a unit of McGraw-Hill Inc. Mild
weather, which also inflated March construction employment, will buoy the
starts number. Weak demand and downbeat builders' surveys suggest little
strength this spring, though.
Wednesday, Apr. 19, 8:30 a.m.
The MMS survey expects the February balance of trade in goods and services to
post a deficit of $10.2 billion, less than January's $12.2 billion gap. Exports
are expected to rise, but they will be held back by another steep drop in
shipments to Mexico. Imports will also edge lower, according to the survey, but
by less than exports. The trade deficit is on track to exert a strong negative
influence on first-quarter growth in real gross domestic product.
Thursday, Apr. 20, 8:30 a.m.
New weekly claims for jobless benefits appear to be moving into the
340,000-to-350,000 range for the week of Apr. 15. The four-week average, which
has been trending higher recently, stood at 342,500 at the end of March--the
most in nine months. That rise reflects at least a slight easing in labor
market conditions as retail sales and industrial output have slowed.
Friday, Apr. 21, 2 p.m.
The MMS survey expects the U.S. Treasury to report a March deficit of $40
billion, up from $32.3 billion in March of last year. Even so, the federal
deficit is on track to finish the year some 10% to 15% below last year's
deficit of $203.3 billion. Although delays in tax refunds may be boosting
receipts temporarily, the deficit may yet come in below the Congressional
Budget Office's projection of $176 billion.